Tags: senior | booster | vaccine | shot

What Booster Shots Should Seniors Have?

By    |   Thursday, 05 March 2015 11:18 AM

Question: My husband and I are 72 and 82, and take insulin for diabetes. What booster vaccines would you recommend we take?

Dr. Hibberd's answer: 

As elderly diabetics, your immune systems do not function as well as healthy, younger individuals. Every disease-preventive strategy available to you should be considered. You should receive updated Tdap vaccination and Zostavax vaccine to prevent Herpes Zoster (a re-activation of the chickenpox virus in nerve tissue that causes shingles).

You should be sure you have received polio vaccination. Pneumovax vaccination for pneumonia prevention and annual influenza shots are wise choices. If you had the measles and mumps as a child, and are unsure of your immunity today, ask your doctor about blood tests to check for antibodies in your blood to be sure you are still protected against measles, mumps and rubella. If not, booster shots would be wise. You should also be tested for hepatitis A, B, and C.

Other vaccines should be discussed with your doctor, including a vaccine for meningitis. Other options will largely depend upon how much international travel you are planning for the upcoming year. A good listing of routine vaccine recommended for everyone in the USA is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website.

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Seniors' immune systems do not function as well as those of healthy, younger individuals and may need a boost.
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Thursday, 05 March 2015 11:18 AM
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